Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan

The Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan provides an exciting look at how safety rest areas operate in Washington and how they support the highway system and today’s travelers.

The 2023 WSDOT Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan (PDF 9.4 MB) is available for review. Safety rest areas support highway safety by providing a place for the traveling public, commuters, and freight haulers to stop and rest on their travels. They also serve regional communities throughout the state by supporting commerce, the flow of goods and services, tourism, and recreation. The Washington State Department of Transportation will use the plan to support short-term and long-term prioritization of the 47 state-owned safety rest areas.  

The last strategic plan was updated in 2008 – nearly 15 years ago.  

The 2023 plan does not call for adding or closing any existing safety rest areas. However, in condition assessments, 87% of buildings were rated in critical condition, and the plan outlines a financial need of $375-$525 million over the next fifteen years to upgrade or renovate the aging infrastructure.  

WSDOT's mission is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation options to improve communities and economic vitality for people and businesses. Safety rest areas are a critical part of that mission and supports the traveling public and commuters with a safe, sustainable opportunity for needed rest. Safety rest areas serve regional communities throughout the state by supporting commerce, the flow of goods and services, tourism, and recreation. 

The Safety Rest Area Program consists of 47 locations statewide that provide services to 24 million annual users. The program operates RV Sanitary dump stations at 20 of those locations.  

Strategic Plan highlights 

  • Addresses core focus areas, including safety, financially sustainable operations, customer experience, truck parking and resiliency by providing an overview, goals, and strategies for each area. 

  • Provides an overview of federal and state laws that limit some operational changes at safety rest areas. 

  • Includes an overview of the needs and expectations of users informed by the 2022 Safety Rest Area Customer Engagement Survey. 

  • Addresses infrastructure and provides a high-level cost estimate of the funding needed to sustain operations for today and into the future.  

  • Addresses the usage, factors and benefits of sites to reduce fatigue-related crashes, injuries and fatalities.  

  • Introduces the concept of piloting alternative site formats, including urban locations with limited RV parking, expanded commercial truck parking, additional safety amenities and commercial truck only facilities.  

  • Establishes program evaluation criteria such as crash data, usage, availability of alternative locations, truck parking needs, and usage needs by customer group (RV, passenger vehicles, commercial truck) as a quantitative tool to evaluate the criticality of each location to the operations of a multi-modal system. 

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166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.